hor·​rif·​ic hȯ-ˈri-fik How to pronounce horrific (audio)
: having the power to horrify
a horrific account of the tragedy
horrifically adverb

Examples of horrific in a Sentence

horrific images of the devastation spurred many people to give generously
Recent Examples on the Web The discovery is the latest in a string of horrific cases involving funeral home operators in Colorado, which has some of the weakest oversight of the funeral industry in the nation. Amy Beth Hanson, Fortune, 17 Feb. 2024 Despite the evidence, photographs, films, and museums dedicated to ensuring people never forget the horrific atrocities that took place during the Holocaust, there are still those who intentionally circulate falsities on social media outlets in the hopes of intentionally misleading people. Tyler Gildin, Parents, 17 Feb. 2024 The construction comes as fears grow that the already horrific humanitarian situation in Gaza will worsen, causing thousands of deaths and a mass exodus of Palestinians to Egypt’s border. Alexandra Banner, CNN, 16 Feb. 2024 In the other case, a horrific 2022 crash near the exclusive Ocean Reef Club that left one teenage girl dead and another severely injured, prominent Miami real estate broker George Pino has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanors. David Goodhue, Miami Herald, 16 Feb. 2024 In both Uvalde and Sandy Hook, horrific images of the carnage were not released to the public. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 16 Feb. 2024 The shooting at Union Station put a tragic and horrific end on what was a joyous celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory. Bill Lukitsch, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 Israel’s tragic course On his fifth trip to the region, and seventh trip to Israel since the horrific Hamas invasion of Oct. 7, Blinken has been rebuffed by both Hamas and Netanyahu in his latest efforts to get hostages home and godfather a regional Israel-Palestine-Arab peace deal. Trudy Rubin, The Mercury News, 14 Feb. 2024 Then there are the horrific individual acts fueled by poisonous conspiracy rhetoric, such as the 2018 mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue and the recent beheading of a federal employee by his son. Keith Kloor, Scientific American, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'horrific.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French & Latin; French horrifique, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin horrificus "inspiring awe or dread, frightening," from horrēre "to be stiffly erect, bristle, shudder, shiver" + -i- -i- + -ficus -fic — more at horror entry 1

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of horrific was in 1653

Dictionary Entries Near horrific

Cite this Entry

“Horrific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horrific. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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